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China to Raise Fuel Quality Levels to Combat Pollution

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Beijing China bicycle rider

Photo: Lei Han

China’s problem with air quality is well-documented, and one of the city and federal government’s most visible ways to deal with it is by dealing with its citizen’s cars. The country has used various methods to reduce emissions from vehicles (as well as reduce traffic in the increasingly populous cities in the east), including creating aggressive programs that ban cars from the streets based on license plates and those promoting electric and small-engined cars.

Now, the Chinese government has decided to come at this another way. Rather than targeting the cars or the people driving them, the government is passing legislation that targets the country’s fuel. According to the Xinhua state news agency, new fuel-quality standards will be enacted in January of next year to bring the quality of China’s fuel up to that of the rest of the world.

These standards will come in two parts—in the country at large, the fuel will be held to the “National Five” standards, which are roughly equivalent to the Euro V standards in Europe, which were implemented back in 2009 and held sway until 2014, when Euro 6 became the standard. In the capital city, the government is implementing the “Beijing Six” standards, which are somewhat stricter, and which are expected to cut pollutants by 15 to 20%. The Beijing Six standards include a measure targeting older commercial diesel trucks by creating a maximum sulfur content of 10 parts per million.

These will be enacted in addition to stricter emissions standards that China originally planned to implement in 2020, but instead moved up to next year.

News Source: Green Car Reports